Aftermath of the Scottish Independence Vote


Previously we wrote about what the vote for Scottish independence meant to the property market and now a decision has been reached we have a better insight into what the future holds.

The entire country was holding their breath last night to find out if Scotland would become an independent country. Since the result was revealed as No to Independence in theory nothing should change, however for many there will be a psychological change and not just in Scotland. This is because those that are operating in the property market could have permanently lost faith in the country. David Davidson is the Managing Director at Cushman and Wakefield in Scotland and he has said, “For the last three months it feels like we have been driving with a handbrake on. There will be a surge in investment marketing activity when the handbrake is released.” He continued to say that the Scottish market will “start to benefit more from the general economic recovery that has driven commercial property pricing so aggressively in Manchester and Birmingham and the other key UK regional centres.”

David continued to say how he knew of many investors that were biding their time until the No Vote came in and they could feel confident again. Henry Pryor is an independent buying agent and he added, “We know what currency we are buying and selling in, we know what the property law is, we have a good idea what property taxes might be, Scotland and Scottish property has woken from a nightmare.”

According to many in the commercial and residential sector there have been a few that have been waiting until a decision was made one way or another and the future of Scotland was more certain. Mr Pryor added that those who own homes as well as bankers, lawyers and estate agents could now expect to see some calm and certainty again. However this does not mean that everyone has complete confidence in the country. The vote was really close and it is likely to be a question that will be raised again in the future. This still brings some uncertainty and a loss of faith to Scotland and the property market may take a hit.

Alan Patterson is the head of research and strategy at AXA Real Estate and he has said, “After the Quebec vote a lot of companies left and moved to Toronto. In the medium-term outlook it will still be a loss of credibility because the vote was close.” He also added that there is still some political uncertainty as there is a possibility that some of Scotland’s power here in England will be reduced which could put investors off.

However, Kevin Bradley is from Aecom which is a planning consultancy and he has said that following the vote that there is the very real possibility that the Scottish government will invest in their infrastructure and building activity. “The government is committed to investment in public infrastructure to secure long-term economic growth, so we could anticipate an announcement of this pipeline in the autumn. This could result in additional funding for public sector infrastructure investment and for private sector businesses to locate in Scotland.”

Overall the next few months are going to be very interesting and not just with regards to the property market in Scotland but with investment as a whole.

Photo by Amanda Slater / CC BY-SA 2.0

Leave a Reply